Friday, December 30, 2011
“For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account” (Philippians 4:16,17 KJV).
In the Dispensation of Grace, as members of the Church, the Body of Christ, God has not guaranteed us material riches. Actually, believers in Macedonia (northern Greece, perhaps Thessalonica and Berea) experienced “deep poverty” (2 Corinthians 8:1,2). Paul sometimes lacked certain material goods including food and shelter (2 Corinthians 11:27; Philippians 4:11,12). Material riches are “uncertain riches” (1 Timothy 6:17). Instead, God has promised us spiritual wealth in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 8:9).
We who have trusted exclusively in the Lord Jesus Christ—His blood shed for our sins, His death, His burial, and His resurrection—have eternally gained “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). As “children of God,” we are “then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:16,17). Imagine that—we are “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ!”
In addition to those spiritual blessings we already have, we are accumulating further spiritual wealth by daily studying and believing sound (dispensational) Bible doctrine. That sound Bible doctrine is likened to “gold, silver, and precious stones”—everything else (philosophy, religious tradition, et cetera) is the worthless “wood, hay, and stubble” that should be avoided (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).
Furthermore, today’s Scripture speaks of “fruit abounding to our account”—our spiritual bank account. The indwelling Holy Ghost will take the aforementioned sound doctrine and empower us to invest time, money, and energy in Christian service (like assisting other Christians, as in today’s Scripture). This will yield eternal benefits—spiritual growth/maturity, salvation of others, et cetera (2 Corinthians 9:6,7).
Once we Christians leave this life, we leave behind material wealth (1 Timothy 6:7). “Godliness,” or “doctrine according to godliness” (sound Bible teaching), is all we will be taking to heaven (1 Timothy 6:3-6). This sound doctrine and spiritual wealth is everlasting, never to be lost to recession or depression. Rejoice! 🙂